Frank Capra: Conflicted Italian American Patriot – illustrated lecture

Nov 06, 2015 909

Thursday, November 12 at 6:30pm. Museo Italo Americano - Fort Mason Center - 2 Marina Blvd., Building C - San Francisco, CA 94123

The celebrated film director Frank Capra, a native of Sicily, was always insecure about how much he belonged in America. During that less enlightened time of the early 1900s when he grew up in Los Angeles, Capra was subjected to discrimination because of his ethnicity. In self-defense, and to some extent self-loathing, he learned to identify with the WASP upper classes in his life and work. His films tend not to deal directly with ethnicity but have oblique significance in revealing the conflicted mindset of an immigrant director who became known as the spokesman for the so-called American "common man." Capra was a flag-waving patriot who served his country loyally making World War II propaganda films but suffered when his loyalty was questioned during the postwar blacklist era; he also revealed a broad streak of bigotry toward various ethnic groups, including his own.

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